Talking Points: 17 March

prostitution1Selling sex legally works according to results in New Zealand. Prostitution has been de-criminalised there for six years. According to one of the women working as a prostitute, conditions have improved and the image of sex workers as poor and vulnerable has been destroyed.  It’s an age old argument, but do the benefits of legalising the sale of sex outweigh the negatives?

It’s day two of the Josef Fritzl trial. Yesterday’s Talking Points looked at whether or not we should be more involved in each others lives to avoid such crimes taking place. Some Austrians are uncomfortable with the extensive media coverage the case is getting. It’s certainly been getting a lot of attention. Can those accused of sexual assault ever get a fair trial when they are portrayed as guilty in the public eye?


President Obama is trying to stop them, but here’s the case for paying out bonuses at AIG. Don’t we have to keep businesses “sweet” in order for the economic situation not to deteriorate further? Surely it cannot be that every single employee in the organisation has not pulled their weight or worked their hardest? Worth looking at the Huffington Post for more comment on this story.


The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has congratulated the whole country over his reinstatement and the US have praised the move too. But has Pakistan simply restored a judge rather than justice?

17 Responses to “Talking Points: 17 March”

  1. March 17, 2009 at 10:50

    Every time sex is had, it is sold. I forget the philosopher, but there quote goes, “masturbation is the only sex where the pleasure given equals the pleasure received.” As innocent and pure as one might like to fantasize about sex, it is political, it is financial, and it is psychological. It is just traded on the barter system for sometimes unquantifiable returns. In its current state it is definitely untaxable.

  2. 2 Roberto
    March 17, 2009 at 11:00

    Re “” do the benefits of legalising the sale of sex outweigh the negatives? “”

    ————— The sale of sex has always been legal. It’s just the means and methods typically used by prostistutes is illegal.

    A certain class of women have always been willing to marry or be a companion to a well to do man and provide services in exchange for security in the absence of love, all perfectly legal. To a lesser extent, some men are willing to marry or be a companion to an older woman in similar arrangements.

    Then we have women in the workforce with all the implications of that.

    If “prostitution” is legalized and prostistutes regulated, so should be Johns.

    Then we have the spector of non heterosexual prostitution and what not.

  3. 3 Steve in Boston
    March 17, 2009 at 11:39

    “do the benefits of legalizing the sale of sex outweigh the negatives?”

    President Obama is always searching for targets for his massive stimulus package, and thrusting the nation deep into the quick of the sex industry, thereby spreading employment far and wide, could be a breathtaking climax to his efforts to penetrate those unseen forces seemingly offering stiff resistance to worldwide economic recovery.

    We should all keep abreast of this rapidly emerging story.

  4. 4 VictorK
    March 17, 2009 at 13:29

    Re prostitution: the left (for whom it’s an issue for the left) need to make up their mind about whether they want to see women being pimped out or not. It won’t do to denounce as exploiters men who use prostitutes, while simultaneously trying to make prostitution a ‘respectable’ ‘profession’ like any other (‘sex workers).

    Fritzel: world-wide, too many voyeurs are interested in this sad and sordid tabloid affair. Aren’t there more pressing things to be discussed?

    AIG: the point is that governments’ role in the economy is to provide the legal and regulatory framework in which competition can happen, not to bail out failing businesses. The issue with bonuses is a distraction. The delusion that concerted government action across the planet – even if it were achievable – can ever allocate resources as effeciently as the free market is the last desperate throw of the dice of socialism. It won’t and can’t work.

    Pakistan’s fate is to be ruled by some home-grown equivalent of the Taliban. They have the will and the momentum behind them. It’s just a matter of time.

  5. 5 RKA
    March 17, 2009 at 13:48

    A banker had been entrusted with the job of procuring sexual favours for their high net worth clients..HIs view… prostitution is performing a social service…that it would reduce violence and crime against women..looking at it from that point of view it seems that legalizing sex has more of the positive than negative

  6. 6 Kevin Burke
    March 17, 2009 at 14:44

    In an ideal world, prostitution should be legal if for no other reason than the owner of the body being traded is a single individual. It should be his or her sole decision whether to use their body to generate an economy for themselves.

    However, as many have noted on this show, this is not an ideal world. Within the current framework of illegality, women engaging in prostitution are frequently abused from both economically and, frequently, physically.

    That being said, turning prostitution into a widespread legal, regulated business has it’s own pitfalls. Putting aside moral objections, while much of the brutality of the illegal sex trade would be eliminated, the legal and regulated sex trade would still have the individual sex worker at a disadvantage. The process for opening a legal brothel would likely be so expensive that individuals would have no way of doing business for and by themselves. The lion’s share of profits from this industry would then likely go to the operators of the sex trade establishments and not to the individual workers.

    Whatever we do, the illegal sex trade is vile, brutal and verging on slavery (if not actually slavery) for those whose bodies are used as commodities. If legalizing prostitution in some fashion can prevent the heaps of abuse laid on the hundreds of thousands of men and women involved more effectively than policing it, I’m not sure what choice we have.

    Like with all issues on this program- it’s a conundrum!

  7. 7 Rob (UK)
    March 17, 2009 at 15:12

    Prostitution should be legalised in the UK. If two individuals fully consent to the transaction of money for sex, it is no business of ours to interfere. Legalisation will also result in greater tax revenues, safer working environments for prostitutes and reductions in people-trafficking.

  8. 8 Zita
    March 17, 2009 at 15:13

    On the subject of legalization of prostitution:
    I would direct all to read ‘Eleven Minutes’ by Paulo Coelho. It puts the whole subject of prostitution in a different light. In the same way, I am sure, that many years ago, reading Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevski uplifted the position of these women in our minds. I think it’s a question of attitude. Many of the subjects which were taboo before are now legalized and quite acceptable. It’s a matter of time before move forward. Whether it is beneficial to society or not only time will tell.

  9. 9 Anthony
    March 17, 2009 at 15:17

    @ Dwight

    You can sat that about ANY act between 2 people, wether it be going to a bar with a buddy, playing a game of chess with them, or beating the snot out of someone.

    @ Roberto

    I understand what your saying, but there is a huge difference, and its would be silly to compare a hooker walking the street and someones mom who married the Dr. instead of the janitor.

    @ RKA

    But if they are able to do it, then everyone should be able to…and try to imagine an America is 2009 with hookers running the streets. It would be the same situation as strippers, except 10 fold. A bunch of men wasting money on their new addiction, hookers wasting money to fill that void of hate and self loathing inside…so they need to keep on working the streets…and end up doing drugs to make them feel better during their acts. So basically money wasted, new drug habits, and addiction to sex. Not to mention the other health risks.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  10. 10 Ewewale
    March 17, 2009 at 16:03

    Thanks Rob(UK), Kevin Burke.

    People condemn Prostitutes as much as they like.
    No one cares to know what drove them into the job.
    We refuse to consider the fact that legalisation could protect them from further exploitation, or at least, reduce expoitation.

  11. 11 Jessica in NYC
    March 17, 2009 at 17:57

    I do see both sides of the argument and am still on the fence on this one. Does legalization equal respect for the sex-industry? I just can’t imagine a child ever saying, “Mommy, I’d like to grow up to be a prostitute.”

    People have a very distinct view of what a prostitution is and how she/he lives. Rarely is the conversation centered around the reason for engaging in this life style. Naturally, there is the financial aspect to it. I recall a story in the news a few years ago about a ring of suburban moms who ran prostitution ring and when they were caught, the reason was for “control” or “power”.

  12. 12 Kind David
    March 18, 2009 at 00:18

    If my reading of history is correct, then the only way to prevent prostitution is to execute them. Since that is out of the question legalizing it seems like a good idea.

    Drugs too?

  13. 13 Sathiyavani
    March 18, 2009 at 04:53

    Prostitution at any country or under any circumstance should be banned. Women should not be exploited in the name of business. Related laws is to be made to protect sex workers from further embarassment. Their lifestyle must be improved and they must change their profession.

  14. March 18, 2009 at 11:11


    Right, and in all 3 of your examples there are legal venues to do it. As long as it is a sanctioned fighting ring, and both parties are consenting (or their legal guardians consent for them in the case of golden gloves) you can not only pay another guy to beat the snot out of him, but there are many people who will pay you to watch. With prostitution there is no such venue. There is no way to conduct that business in a manor that is legal and obvious.

    If you and a buddy decide to go to the bar, nobody cares who is paying (well maybe the bar tender), nobody cares who is getting the most out of the meeting, nobody cares about the exchange. The same is true of a chess match. However, when it is two consenting adults having sex, all of the sudden people who have not relative interest, care. Where is it being had, what gender are they, is anybody getting monetarily compensated for it? It just doesn’t follow convention. Since there is no good answer as to “why not”, then it should be considered legal.

  15. 15 Jennifer
    March 19, 2009 at 15:40

    Re: do the benefits of legalising the sale of sex outweigh the negatives?

    Why not? I mean, just have planned parenthood ready to dish out STD treatments, condoms, and offer express abortions? Our tax payer dollars being put to good use!

  16. 16 Jim Newman
    March 20, 2009 at 22:52

    Hello again
    I think that criminalising prostitution is silly. Prostitutes should be protected by the law as any other citizen.
    A place where prostitution was illegal was Malta. While I was there I used to visit Straight Street’ or ‘The Gut’ as it was more commonly known and I got to know some prostitutes. There was a perfect symbiosis between the bar owners, prostitutes and the Catholic Church. The prostitutes encouraged the clients to pay an exhorbitant price for their drinks which pleased the bar owners the prostitutes were allowed to pick up their clients in the bars which pleased the prostitutes. The prostitutes then took the clients home to apartments owned by the Catholic Church. And to crown it all condoms were provided and their use obligatory.
    Just goes to show that nothing is what it appears to be.

  17. March 23, 2009 at 10:24

    Yes,it should be legalised because women are being exploited for profit.particularly some sections of people pretending to fall in love with girls and used them for some time then threaten them to kill and force them to do prostitution.women are being trafficked and raped by those bought her then sold to others as slaves.Against her will she is being forced to have sex with over a number of people on a day without due regard to her Health.It is a sin and a crime committed by Pimps.If it is legalised at their convenient time they can work,they can see the doctors,Diseases will not be spread,They can have Insurance for their old age.Young,shy boys or elderly who could not get a partner will also benefit from it.

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